Number of reports of discrimination rises by over 13%
In 2019, Unia saw a continued upward trend in the number of reports and cases concerning discrimination. ‘The number of reports was 13.2% higher than in 2018, while the caseload increased by 6.9%. On social media, we are seeing harsher language, about people with disabilities, Muslims and refugees, for example’, says Unia director Els Keytsman. ‘There is a normalisation of hate speech on social media, as well as on the street.’
Aalst Carnival: Unia analyses reports
Just like last year, Jewish caricatures and stereotypes were shown during the carnival in Aalst. Unia received several reports about this. We understand that some of the caricatures shocked and hurt people, and will further investigate the facts.
Unia encourages intercultural awareness in folklore traditions
Unia is calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as carnival. Local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in Aalst.
#GiveMe1Minute video competition: more than 100 schools against racism
"The #GiveMe1Minute video competition will be held again," announced Els Keytsman, director of Unia, at the school competition's first award ceremony in Kazerne Dossin. "More than 100 entries came in from the length and breadth of Belgium, and the competition was a huge success."
Unia worried about anti-Semitism in Belgium
Unia will today again press in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation will further ask Minister Kris Peeters, now responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism.
Conference: how can the government create an inclusive education system?
Finding inspiration and gathering ideas on inclusive education: that was the goal of the international conference on 8 and 9 October. For this two-day conference, Unia joined forces with the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights and received support from the OHCHR Regional Office in Brussels.
European civil servant victim of anti-Semitic attack: perpetrator convicted
The Brussels Criminal Court ruled in favour of Unia and a European civil servant, declaring that the anti-Semitic hate speech and assault were aggravating circumstances. The incident was described as ‘serious and unacceptable’. Unia director Els Keytsman is concerned about the verbal abuse and threats against the Jewish community in Belgium.
Unia welcomes conviction for vandalism in Jewish district
Unia welcomes the conviction by the Antwerp criminal court of the man who plagued the Jewish district. Unia believed there was a clear hatred motive behind his actions, which is why it joined the action as a civil claimant. Unia regularly draws attention to the need to investigate cases of anti-Semitism or holocaust denial.
Unia recognised internationally as a National Human Rights Institution
Unia was recently recognised as a national institution for the protection of human rights, B status, by the competent international bodies. Unia received this recognition for its independence and commitment to human rights, such as the right to equal opportunities and non-discrimination.
More employment discrimination cases reported to Unia in 2017
Last year Unia opened a total of 2,017 cases of situations where people felt they were the subject of discrimination. This represents a 6% increase over 2016 (1,907 cases). Instances of employment discrimination were the most frequently opened cases at Unia.